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41 Highly-Rated & Extremely Comfortable Things On Amazon That You’ll Use For Years



There are things that are comfortable, and there are things that are not. Girdles, scratchy clothes, and long meetings are all uncomfortable. Yoga pants, couches, and travel pillows? All very comfortable, if you find the right ones. So in honor of not having to wear a girdle if you don’t want to, I’ve put together this list of highly-rated things on Amazon that are convenient and oh-so-comfy. They’re just what you need if you want your day to be a little more comfortable: which ranges from a blister balm that makes shoes easier to wear all day to a pair of said yoga pants. Or a flowy dress. Or a bathroom mat that makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud instead of stepping out of the shower.

My favorite thing about finding all these body-friendly products on Amazon? The fact that you can read ratings and reviews from actual buyers — with human bodies — who’ve already tested these products out and can testify to their comfort level.

Of course, my other favorite thing about finding these products on Amazon is the fact that I can order them all from my bed — a totally optimal shopping situation when comfort is the goal.

1. This Posture Corrector That Relieves Back And Neck Pain

A lot of us spend time hunched over our computers and phones, which can lead to less than stellar posture. That, in turn, can lead to a sore neck, back, and shoulders. Relieve pain and train yourself to sit and stand up straight with this posture corrector that slips right over your shoulders to brace your back. It’s virtually invisible under clothes, and adjustable between 25 and 43 inches.

2. A Jumpsuit That’s Good For Lounging And Going Out

This off-the-shoulder jumpsuit is comfortable enough to wear when you’re lounging around at home, but cute enough to wear when you’re meeting friends for drinks. (Versatility!) It features cinching at the ankles and just below the waist, and — most importantly — pockets. The jumpsuit is available in a florals, stripes, and solids in a variety of colors, like dark green, khaki, and navy blue.

3. These Shock-Absorbing Gel Heel Protectors

If you struggle with plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis or just spend a lot of time on your feet, these heel pads are for you. Unlike pads that attach to your shoes, these slip right over your feet where they provide a gentle compression that supports the entire heel — all while promoting circulation and absorbing shock. The protectors are made with breathable, medical-grade silicone and can be worn in all kinds of shoes — with or without socks.

4. These Oversized Hoop Earrings That Are Surprisingly Lightweight

Love the look of oversized earrings but hate to weigh your ears down? These super lightweight hoop earrings are for you. Falling to just below the jaw, the earrings make a bigger statement than studs, but still go with just about everything. Each set comes with three pairs: gold, rose gold, and silver,

5. This Relaxed Blouse You’ll Wear Every Single Day

Pair this loose-fitting V-neck blouse with your favorite jeans for an easy-breezy look. The super soft and breathable waffle-knit blouse features a button closure, drop sleeves, and a fun tie at the waist. Choose from 13 colors, like black, white, oatmeal, and wine red.

6. These Comfortable Panties That Reviewers Are Raving About

Reviewers say this high-waisted underwear is “comfortable as heck” and has a “nice wide waistband that stays in place.” Other reviewers say it’s perfect for playing sports since it stays in place, and that it also offers great support post-childbirth. Made from a blend of cotton and spandex, the panties rise to the belly button, where they provide optimum coverage. Each set comes with five pairs, so you can put off laundry day just a little longer.

7. An Extra-Thick Knee Pad To Cushion Your Joints

The 1-inch thick cushioning within this knee pad makes it an easy way to help prevent joint pain during yoga, or even simply while stretching. It’s also non-slip to help keep you steady if you start to sweat — but the best part? Each order comes with a mesh travel bag.

8. These Packing Cubes That Lets You Pack More In Your Suitcase

These ingenious packing cubes compress your clothes so you can actually fit more in your suitcase — which means you don’t have to choose between your high-waisted cropped jeans or your classic skinnies the next time you go on a trip. (Who doesn’t love options?) Mesh covers keep clothes ventilated, and the handles on top make it easy to take each cube out of your suitcase. Each set comes with three sizes of cubes, so you can compress jackets, sweaters, T-shirts, and underwear.

9. This Brilliant Book Light That Actually Fits Around Your Neck

Old school book lights require you to re-clip the light onto the book every time you turn the page, which gets bothersome fast. This neck book light, however, fits right around your neck — and features brightness-adjustable lamps on each side that illuminate your page-turner without you having to clip and re-clip. It’s USB-rechargeable, and the arm is made with bendable rubber, so you can precisely adjust the direction of light. Wear it for nighttime dog walks too.

10. A Stand That Actually Helps You Reach Your Toes For A Pedicure

Now you can polish your nails without having to bend all the way over, with the help of this pedicure stand. Just slip the base under a couch or seat cushion, and pop up the stand to create an angled platform that’ll hold your foot in place while you polish. Slots on the base are perfect for holding clippers and polish bottles, and the flexible light at the top lets you get a good look at what you’re doing. When you’re not using it, the stand folds up flat for easy storage.

11. A Contoured Memory Foam Travel Pillow That Keeps Your Head From Bobbing Forward

Get a great travel pillow, and you just might show up well-rested when you reach your destination. This memory foam travel pillow offers three-point contoured support that wraps all the way around your neck: cradling your head and preventing it from bobbing forward while you doze. The super-soft fabric cover is machine-washable, and the accompanying bag lets you compress the pillow to half its size for easy transport. It even comes with an eye mask and earplugs, so you can easily block out any reading lights or snoring passengers around you.

12. This Memory Foam Bath Mat That You’ll Want To Stand On All Day

No one likes leaving the comfort of a warm shower, but with this memory foam bath mat, you might not mind so much. The mat boasts nearly 2 inches of soft, supportive memory foam, and a velvety, microfiber top that feels oh-so-good on bare feet. It’s fast-drying and the non-skid backing keeps it from sliding around on wet tile. Choose from 11 colors, like camel, gray, and lavender.

13. These Ridiculously Comfortable Waterproof Slides

These timeless slides are the answer to the question of what-shoes-should-I-wear-all-summer. They’re surprisingly lightweight and feature padded, contoured footbeds, so you won’t mind the walk when you have to park 10 blocks from the beach. The wide straps won’t dig into skin, and they’re adjustable, so they’ll fit both low and high arches alike. Plus — they’re waterproof, so you don’t have to stress about poolside splashes.

14. A Passport Wallet You Can Hang From Your Wrist

This passport wallet has a loop that slips right around your wrist, so you don’t have to hold it while you’re standing in the security line. The wallet also prevents electronic pickpockets from scanning your credit cards and ID’s, so your personal and financial information will be safe and sound no matter where your travels take you. Made from water-resistant nylon, the zippered wallet has space for four passport slots, five credit card slots, a pocket for cash, and an ID window. Keep your phone in the exterior pocket, so you can reach for it anytime.

15. An Anti-Friction Cream That Soothes Irritated Skin

Soothe skin and prevent chafing with this anti-friction cream. The non-greasy, moisturizing formula is satiny smooth and works to heal skin that’s chapped and irritated. The addition of peppermint oil adds cooling relief, while tea tree oil reduces redness and inflammation. Apply this between your thighs before slipping on a skirt, in between your toes before going for a run, or anywhere else you experience friction.

16. A Heated Aromatherapy Eye Mask That’s Soothing To Sore Eyes

Give red, irritated eyes next-level relief with this heated eye mask. Just spritz the mask with a little water, toggle to your preferred temperature, set the timer, and slip the soft mulberry silk mask over your eyes. Oh, and — breathe deeply — there’s a lavender sachet built into the mask that’ll give your senses a calming aromatherapy session.

17. These Yoga Pants That Have A Pocket For Your Phone

The value of a good pair of yoga pants cannot be overestimated. These particular yoga pants are made with four-way stretch fabric, which means they won’t — under any circumstances — become see-through. Even better? There’s a pocket on the side for stashing your phone and keys while you jog. The pants are high-waisted and come in dozens of colors in both ankle- and capri-lengths.

18. This Gel Top Coat That Protects Your Nails From Stains

Perfect for hair dressers or artists who work with dyes, this gel top coat features a stain-resistant formula to keep your manicure safe from discoloration. It’s suitable for use on gel or acrylic nails, and it can even help prevent chips to help your manicure stay looking great.

19. This Foldable Backpack That’s Virtuallly Weightless

This lightweight backpack is perfect for day trips, sightseeing, and hikes. Made from waterproof and tear-resistant nylon, the full-size backpack has a spacious main compartment, zippered pockets on the interior and exterior, and two mesh side pockets for water bottles and umbrellas. And the whole thing folds up in a small, sandwich-size pouch, so you can easily stash it in your luggage. Choose from 14 colors, like army green, silver, coral, and black.

20. An Ice Roller That Soothes Skin Instantly

Keep this highly-rated, super handy ice roller in the freezer, and use it anytime you need some fast, cooling relief. Roll it under your eyes to bring down puffiness, on your temples to relieve headaches, or anywhere else to bring down redness or irritation. You can even use it to soothe burns if that cookie sheet was hotter than you realized.

21. These Ultra-Plush Slippers You’ll Never Want To Take Off

These just might be the coziest slippers of all time. Made with high-density memory foam and lined in faux fur, the slippers provide maximum warmth — and the adjustable closure and non-skid bottoms ensure they won’t slip off your feet while you’re shuffling around the house. Choose from pink, gray, black, or wine red.

22. These Sweat-Absorbing Pads That No One Will Know You’re Wearing

If unwanted underarm sweat stains are troubling you, these sweat pads are for you. The ultra-thin, lightweight pads adhere to the inside of your shirt or dress, where they absorb sweat and keep you cool and dry. Reviewers say the “lifesaver” pads stay put and are virtually invisible under clothes. Slip a pair of these into your shirt the next time you go on a nerve-wracking job interview or big first date.

23. A Contoured Bath Pillow To Make Your Bubble Bath Even More Luxurious

Soak in the bath as long as you want — without getting a crick in your neck — using this spa-grade bath pillow. It’s made with soft, breathable mesh instead of plastic, and it’s contoured to support your head, neck, and shoulders in the most comfortable way possible. Six powerful suction cups keep it firmly attached to the tub, and a hook allows you to air dry it quickly.

24. These Socks With Built-In Ice Packs That Work To Relieve Foot Pain

These cold therapy socks are the most ingenious way to bring down foot swelling while relieving pain caused by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, sprains — or hours spent on your feet. The socks have full-length gel packs on the bottom and two half-length packs that can be slipped into the built-in pockets over the toes (or behind the heels) for full foot relief.

25. A Stretchy Cloth Headband That Holds Hair Back In The Cutest Way Possible

Made with super-stretchy cloth, this headband is virtually guaranteed to not cause headaches. The headband has an adorable knot and can be worn in all kinds of ways — stretch it out for a wide band, or scrunch it together for something slimmer. It’s cute enough to wear out to dinner, comfy enough to wear while working out, and great for holding your hair back while you wash your face. Choose from 32 colors.

26. These Water Shoes That Shield Feet From Sharp Objects And Hot Sidewalks

These water shoes are just as comfortable as a pair of socks, but the durable fabric and rubber sole will protect feet from river rocks, ocean coral, or hot concrete sidewalks at water parks. They’re lightweight and come in dozens of colors and patterns, so you can match your bathing suit perfectly.

27. This Contoured Knee Pillow That Side-Sleepers Will Love

You know how your hips get sore and your knees knock together when you sleep on your side? You can keep that from from happening with this memory foam knee pillow. The pillow is ergonomically-contoured to fit right between your knees, where it properly aligns your back, hips, and knees, significantly reducing joint pain and discomfort. It’s covered in plush, machine-washable fabric, and there’s even an elastic strap that keeps the pillow snugly against your leg.

28. This Tiny Umbrella That Won’t Weigh Down Your Purse

This super compact umbrella is about the size of your hand and weighs in at a mere 7 ounces, so you won’t mind carrying it around in your purse. When not collapsed, it’s a full-size umbrella, and it offers 95% UV protection, so you can use it to shield yourself on sunny and rainy days alike. Choose from eight solid colors, including green, pink, sky blue, and more.

29. A Low-Profile Pillow Meant Specifically For Stomach Sleepers

If you sleep on your stomach, a low-profile pillow can help align your spine so that you don’t wake up with a sore neck. This memory foam pillow for stomach sleepers also features gently-sloped edges that reduce head and neck rotation to improve breathing. The pillow is filled with a cooling gel and covered in ultra-soft, machine-washable bamboo fabric. This reviewer writes: “This pillow is just perfect, where I find myself no longer really tossing and turning or waking up with a stiff neck. The material is extremely soft and comfortable, but with the right amount of resistance and support.”

30. These Toe Separators That Promote Proper Alignment

These toe straighteners slip over your middle three toes to separate and align them, which in turn reduces friction, pressure, and pain caused by hammer toes, corns, or overlapping. Made from soft and flexible silicone gel, the straighteners are sweat-proof and latex-free, so they won’t irritate sensitive skin. Wear them with shoes or on their own at home.

31. An Ultra-Slim Wallet You Won’t Feel In Your Back Pocket

Trade in your bulky wallet for this super compact wallet. Measuring in at just 4.5 by 3 inches, the wallet has seven credit card slots, an ID window, and a pocket for cash. And even with all that space, the wallet maintains a slim profile, so you can stick it in your back pocket, and you won’t even know it’s there. (It’s also perfect for small purses.) Choose from dozens of colors.

32. This Tool That Massages Your Fingers And Hands

Hands that make repetitive movements all day (typing, playing an instrument) need some TLC from time to time, which is why this hand massager is so great. One side of the massager has a large roller for targeting pressure points in the hand, and the other side has two smaller rollers — stick your fingers in between them for an individual finger massage. Use this to boost circulation, relax hands, and relieve pain caused by arthritis or carpal tunnel.

33. These Lightweight Flip-Flops That Are Totally Waterproof

These flip flops are the perfect easy shoe for pool days, errands, and working in the garden. They’re incredibly lightweight and contoured for maximum support. And if they get muddy in the backyard? You can just wash them off with a little soap and water. Choose from colors like turquoise, black, and pink.

34. A Brush That Scrubs Bottles Without You Having To Work Up A Sweat

Scrub baby bottles, sports bottles, wine decanters, and even flower vases with this bottle brush. The brush has an extra-long handle that reaches deep into narrow bottle openings, and flexible silicone bristles that gently scrub off grime and residue without scratching delicate surfaces. The BPA-free brush is antibacterial, odor-resistant, and dishwasher-safe.

35. This Bracelet That Adds Style To Any Hair Tie

Available in rose gold, silver, black, and more, this bracelet turns any hair tie into a fashionable accessory. It’s made from durable, lightweight aluminum that you can squeeze to adjust, and one size is made to fit most wrists. “The bracelet is attractive both with and without the hair tie,” one reviewer raved. “It’s very easy to take the hair tie off and put it back on as needed.”

36. A Comfortable Yoga Shirt That Gives You Full Range Of Motion

This yoga shirt is airy to keep you cool during hot yoga, but still form-fitting enough to stay in place when you go into downward dog. Made from smooth modal material with a touch of spandex, the shirt is super lightweight and features a cross-back design that allows you full range of movement. It’s machine-washable and available in 13 colors, like dusty rose, heather gray, and navy blue.

37. This Purse Organizer That Turns Your Purse Into A Stress-Free Zone

If you’re constantly dumping your purse out just to find your lip balm or car keys, this purse organizer is for you. Made from sturdy felt, the organizer features two large interior compartments, eight smaller interior pockets, a detachable zippered compartment, and three exterior pockets — so you can have a place for everything and everything in its place. The organizer is available in five sizes and profiles, so you can find one for your big tote and your smaller handbag.

38. A Detangling Brush That Won’t Tug On Your Hair

If you have a sensitive scalp or hair that’s prone to tangles, this detangling brush is about to become your best friend. The body of the brush is flexible, so it conforms to the shape of your head and glides easily through hair without tugging or pulling. And here’s the best part: the brush is infused with earth-sourced elements that release negative ions that lock in moisture and boost shine — so brushing will actually be good for your hair.

39. A Seamless Sports Bra With Shoulder Straps That Won’t Dig In

Reviewers say this sports bra is “so comfortable you don’t even feel like you’re wearing a bra” but “still gives you great support.” The pull-on bra is seamless and wire-free and features wide bands that won’t dig into shoulders and removable padding for a streamlined look. The bra is great for low-impact activities like Pilates or yoga, but you can also order a size up and wear it as an around-the-house or sleep bra.

  • Available sizes: 28A-38DDD

40. A Skin-Soothing Anti-Chafe Balm That Reviewers Swear By

This reviewer writes, “This is my GO TO product for thigh chafe…It lasts forever and it’s worth the price. I’ve worn it all day, after one application, while walking Disneyland, used it for running 5Ks, and wear it for everyday summer skirts and dresses. I’ve even started using it on my heels for tight shoes.” The anti-chafe balm is formulated with moisturizing plant-based ingredients, like vitamin E-rich coconut and almond essential oils. Apply this under your bra, between thighs, or anywhere else you experience friction for skin that remains irritation-free all day

41. These Moisture-Wicking Workout Shorts That’ll Keep You Cool And Dry While You Work Out

These highly-rated workout shorts have a pocket on the side where you can store your phone and keys when you head out for an epic bike ride. The four-way stretch fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can keep cool no matter how much you sweat. The shorts are available in mid- and lower-thigh lengths in dozens of colors and patterns.

Elite Daily may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Elite Daily’s editorial and sales departments.

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Ms. Marvel: Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani cast as Kamala Khan




Ms. Marvel has been found! One of the latest Marvel and Disney Plus shows has been searching for its lead star and has found her in an up and coming Canadian actor.

Embiggen your hearts, Marvel fans! Ms. Marvel has been found, reports Deadline.

Iman Vellani, a young actor hailing from Ontario, Canada will be taking on the lead role of Kamala Khan in Marvel and Disney Plus’s new series.

Despite not having any on-screen credits under her belt, Vellani has already been making a name for herself in the industry.

She was a member of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Next Wave committee that helped choose some of the festival’s diverse picks.

With the Ms. Marvel role, Vellani will be paving the way for even more diversity in the Marvel universe that has only recently started including ethnically diverse superheroes.

Though Marvel and Disney have yet to comment on the news, Ms. Marvel comics writer G. Willow Wilson confirmed the news via Twitter.

Vellani’s fellow Marvel actor, Kumail Nanjiani, the franchise’s first subcontinental superhero, who will be appearing in 2021’s Eternals, congratulated the young actor on landing the role.

Simu Liu, who will be headlining Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, also slated for a 2021 release, hails from Canada, and took to Twitter to welcome Vellani to the universe.

Ms. Marvel is still in development, but Vellani is already set to make a beloved franchise richer than it was before.

Ms. Marvel: What do we know so far?

The Ms. Marvel comics introduced Kamala Khan as the first Muslim superhero in the Marvel comics universe in 2014.

Khan, a Pakistani-American with immigrant parents, developed superpowers from Terrigen mist. She can morph parts of her body and uses the ability to fight villains in her hometown of Jersey City.

Following her solo series, Ms. Marvel joined the Champions and the Secret Warriors. She has featured in numerous animated Marvel shows and videogames, including the 2020 Avengers game.

Vellani is the first cast member to be announced for the show. Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will be directing episodes of the series, alongside Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon, who will also be serving as showrunners. Bisha K Ali is set to be the head writer for the show.

No other details are available thus far, but we can assume that the first season of the Ms. Marvel show will follow her origin story.

Next: Disney Plus: 5 upcoming shows we’re most excited to watch

What are you looking forward to seeing in the Ms. Marvel show? Tell us in the comments below.

The Ms. Marvel show is still in development for Marvel and Disney Plus.

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The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and the rise of the TV mega-franchise




There are six Walking Dead shows in the works, seven Star Trek shows, and so on. Why all the interest in mega-franchises, and how is Game of Thrones doing it right?

TV runs in phases. In the ’90s, everything was about sitcoms. In the 2000s, gritty antiheroes were all the rage. And since Game of Thrones debuted in 2011, everyone is trying to make splashy expensive fantasy dramas.

All of this is natural; something catches on, different studios put different twists on it, and then they move on to the next thing. What’s the next trend on the horizon? Based on what I’ve been seeing, it may be TV mega-franchises, and I’m far from convinced it’s a good thing.

First, what do I mean by a TV mega-franchise? I’ll give you a few examples. Not long ago, AMC announced that The Walking Dead was ending after a decade on the air — the show’s upcoming 11th season will be its last. That’s a pretty big deal. Love it or hate it, The Walking Dead had become a TV mainstay and it’s going to be strange not having it around.

But that’s the thing: even with the original show gone, The Walking Dead isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s expanding. This time in a few years, we’ll have Fear the Walking DeadThe Walking Dead: World Beyond, Tales of the Walking Dead, a bunch of Rick Grimes movies, and an untitled spinoff about Carol and Daryl. The end of The Walking Dead doesn’t actually mean the end of The Walking Dead. It’s growing into a mega-franchise with new content coming out practically all year round.

Then look at Star Trek over at CBS All Access (or, as it recently rebranded itself, Paramount+). Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: Picard and the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks are already running, not to mention the short film series Short Treks. Coming down the pipeline we have the kids show Star Trek: Prodigy, an episodic show called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and a series about the intelligence agency Section 31. Meet another mega-franchise.

Just one more to show you this isn’t a weird coincidence: Disney has a hit with The Mandalorian, but they’re not content to stop there. We have lots of Star Wars shows coming up, including one about Obi-Wan Kenobi, another about Cassian Andor from Rogue One, an animated Bad Batch show, and several other rumored series a couple of which I will bet my life get made. The mega-franchise isn’t just a passing idea: it’s the new standard. You even see shows like Netflix’s The Witcher, which is just one season old, planting the seeds with spinoffs like The Witcher: Blood Origin and Nightmare of the Wolf.

So why the sudden interest in building these mega-franchises rather than just giving us one show to enjoy and then maybe a spinoff down the road if it does well? A lot of this probably started with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which showed studios they could stitch together a lot of movies in a way that appealed to a mass audience (and indeed, Marvel looks like its trying to mimic the success of the MCU on TV with upcoming shows like WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter SoldierLokiShe-HulkMs. MarvelMoon Knight and Hawkeye). We’ve seen other movie studios mimic this formula, too, most notably Warner Bros. and its DC Extended Universe, although it hasn’t had as much success.

But it’s still trying, because the potential rewards are so high. And what are the rewards? Why, nothing less than the sum total of all your time and money, of course. Marvel made so much money with the MCU that TV studios want in, chaining you to your couch all year long so you can watch all six Walking Dead shows, all seven Star Trek shows, and however much Marvel and Star Wars stuff they can throw at you. The studios are aiming for entertainment domination so complete it won’t leave time for anything else.

The problem with this is that if everyone has this idea, no one’s idea can really succeed. People simply won’t have time to watch every Star Trek show and every Walking Dead show and every Witcher show and so on and so forth, at least not in the numbers needed to make the big investments these studios are making worth it. I see a bubble situation forming, and there’s danger of a pop.

However, the way people watch TV nowadays may be uniquely suited to this kind of mega-franchise model. Back in the old days, when networks made shows and then sold advertising for them, there was a way to easily quantify whether each show made its money back: did the income from advertisements and merch exceed the production costs? If so, great: it was a hit and could be given another season.

However, the new model is to watch shows on streaming services without commercials. Netflix and Disney+ and Paramount+ and the rest make money through subscription dollars, not ads. In this case, a studio can make a ton of shows, and so long as they attract enough new people to sign up, it doesn’t even really matter if those people actually watch them; the shows will have done their job.

As someone who watches a lot of TV, I find the prospect of so many shows a little exhausting, and kind of manipulative. But at the end of the day, if this results in a lot of content for people to choose from, it’s really not that bad of a thing. The cream should still rise to the crop, and I’m happy so many creatives are getting jobs.

Still, I worry about that bubble eventually popping and all those people losing their jobs when the world’s TV executives decide they’d rather make money another way. I guess I’m kind of boring and prefer the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race method of TV production, rather than the throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks method. That’s why, in the midst of all these rising mega-franchises, I appreciate what HBO is doing with House of the Dragon, its follow-up to Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones was more than popular enough to justify a spinoff or two. In fact, I’ve long thought that if the series had been with any other network, we’d already have one. But HBO doesn’t seem to have any interest in making a mega-franchise. It’s making one prequel show, and that’s not due out until 2021, two years after the original show ended. Might people lose some interest over that period? Sure, but it also means HBO is taking its time and making sure what it’s creating is good, which is better for the show’s health in the long run.

And as a fan, it gives me a chance to catch my breath and miss the series for a while, and when HBO finally starts releasing proper promo material for House of the Dragon, I’ll have one direction in which to focus my attention. Blasting me with too much content all at once kind of takes the fun out of fandom, at least if you ask me.

I’d be curious to hear what you think. Why are studios investing in so many mega-franchises? Are you excited by all the variety or exhausted by the overflow of content?

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South Park Tackles the Coronavirus, Police Defunding and More in Utterly Insane Pandemic Special — Grade It




For months, South Park fans have wondered how the Comedy Central staple would tackle the current state of the world. After Wednesday’s pandemic special, they finally have their answer — and it’s horrifying.

Naturally, everyone in South Park takes a slightly different approach to the pandemic. Randy sees it as a business opportunity, proudly calling a summit in the town square to announce that Tegridy Farms is having a “pandemic special,” a 10 percent-off extravaganza. “People are dying, Randy, and all you can think is to make a special about it?” asks voice-of-reason Sharon. But Randy remains confident in his latest venture, and it isn’t long before he’s rubbing his success in his family’s face.

That is, until a news report confirms that scientists have pinpointed the origin of the coronavirus to a specific bat in a “seedy part” of Wuhan. The news stops Randy dead in his tracks, as he suddenly recalls having unprotected sex with a bat during his trip to Wuhan. It was during one of his all-night benders with Mickey Mouse, who reminded Randy that a bat is basically just a mouse with wings.

It’s a serious wake-up call for Randy, who previously referred to COVID-19 as “some dirty virus from China” and downplayed his brother-in-law’s diagnosis because “Jimbo’s a fat alcoholic who would be in the hospital anyway.” Randy is desperate to hide the truth from his wife because, as he points out, “If she finds out I started the pandemic, she’s going to be a total bitch about it.”

Randy is briefly relieved when follow-up tests reveal that the bat is not connected to the pandemic, but a whole new panic sets in when he learns the real creature responsible. It’s a actually a pangolin, and you guessed it — Randy suddenly remembers that he and Mickey had sex with one of those, too.

He immediately attempts to cover his tracks, infiltrating the containment lab by posing as a “pandemic specialist.” (By his logic, he’s not lying!) After setting his one-time lover free, Randy thinks he’s in the clear, until Mickey threatens to expose him to the world. Thinking quickly, Randy buys himself some time by testing a new theory: If he can get his DNA into COVID-19 patients, he could vaccinate them without them anyone learning the truth. So he does just that by depositing his specimen (ugh) into a Tegridy joint and delivering it to Jimbo. And wouldn’t you know, it works!

So Randy gets down to business, filling his massive supply of weed with his own personal seed. (Grossest rhyme ever.) But while this “special” strain of weed does briefly eliminate symptoms of COVID-19, it comes with an unexpected side effect: a Randy-style mustache! Pretty soon, every stoner in town is rocking his signature ‘stache, forcing Dr. Anthony Fauci to encourage all Americans to start wearing their “face diaper” over their mouth “where the mustache would be.” (Ironically, this is what gets everyone to start wearing their masks correctly.)

Meanwhile, the children of South Park must readjust to life back in the classroom. They’re all a little hesitant, but no one is more opposed to the return of in-person learning than Cartman, who opens the special with a full-blown musical number about the unbridled pleasures of social distancing. The portly troublemaker, who angrily concludes that “Cartman’s life doesn’t matter,” is determined to make things very uncomfortable for his classmates.

Then again, things at South Park Elementary School are already a mess, what with most of the teachers being replaced by police officers. As Detective Harris explains, they force has been defunded “due to events beyond our control” and wants to re-establish itself as a leader of the community. Cartman takes advantage of the police presence, starting a fight that leads to Token getting shot. After dismissing the shooting as a “COVID-related” injury, the cops force the entire school into lockdown.

The boys make a desperate plea to President Garrison, who only takes their call because they misrepresent themselves as Mr. Slave. (Aww!) They beg him to return to South Park and stop the pandemic, to which he asks, “Why would I do that? I made a promise to the American people to get rid of all the Mexicans.” When the boys remind POTUS that it isn’t only killing Mexicans, he replies, “Well, it’s killing a lot of them. I was doing a crap job until this pandemic happened. I’m going to actively not do anything, and you can eat s–t off my balls and die.”

Stans’ attention then turns to a downtrodden Butters; in an attempt to life his spirits, the boys book him an appointment at Build-a-Bear and help him break out out of quarantine. At this point, the townspeople have been whipped into a looting frenzy (doesn’t take much, huh?) until they’re at each other’s throats in the streets. The police claim they can’t get involved because they’ve been defunded, so the mayor signs an executive order to re-fund them. Once again, it takes only a few minutes for them to start shooting innocent children.

Just when the madness reaches its apex, Randy decides to come clean, bringing the pangolin out for everyone to see. But Cartman moves surprisingly quickly, snatching the creature and dangling it over the Build-a-Bear machine. (As if it hasn’t been through enough already!) One of Stan’s classic speeches inspires a change of heart within Cartman, so he hands the pangolin over to the scientists, ensuring a vaccine can be made.

Sadly, the pangolin — and the scientist holding it — is then burned alive by President Garrison, who pops into the frame to remind everyone, “Don’t forget to get out and vote, everybody! Big election coming up!” Yikes.

Was South Park‘s quarantine special everything you hoped it would be? Grade it below, then drop a comment with your full review.

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